Can an employeer require an employee to pay auto insurance deductibles?

UPDATED: Feb 22, 2012

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Can an employeer require an employee to pay auto insurance deductibles?

I am a physical therapist and I work for a company that supplies me a car to go to patients homes for therapy. I had a small fender bender type accident and the company I work for is telling me that I personally have to pay their deductible. Is this legal or customary?

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is probably not customary, but it is legal, if either of the following applies:

1) You were at-fault in causing the accident (for example, you drove carelessly); or

2) You had been told in advance that one of the terms or conditions of employment was that employees have to pay the deductibles for accidents involving company cars.

If you were either at fault or had notice of the policy, you can be required to pay. If you do not pay voluntarily, however, the company may not simply take the money out of your paycheck--they would have to sue you to recover it. Of course, the company could also elect to terminate an employee who refuses to pay for damage or losses he or she causes, if that employee  does not have an employment contract of some type protecting his or her job or limiting the grounds for termination.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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